The sound of a door opening greets your ears as Relapse’s first track plays. It’s a skit of what seems to be Eminem talking to a Dr. West about his imminent discharge from rehab. As Eminem reveals his fear that he might revert to his old ways once he’s out again, monstrous, warped voices take over. And then this slim shady screams, as if awakening from a bad dream. “Oh shit,” he says, waking up to the scarier reality that he is, indeed, back.
Relapse is an ode to his personal journey to sobriety, told through playful lyricism, and flawless, sometimes humorous rhymes. It is signature Eminem: angst and anger in his words, there’s blame, picking on popstars, and then some talk about bludgeoning. The beats are simple, allowing Eminem’s rapping to shine.
Lindsay and Britney are his targets in Same Song & Dance. Eminem shares the mic with Dr. Dre in Old Time’s Sake, where you’ll hear their proven chemistry, even as Shady struggled with chemicals. He gets soul-baring in Beautiful, a song befitting its title. Underground is an amazing closing song, with its aggressive tone and epic chorus. The whole album is well-produced and has a great flow, but that last one takes the Grammy. Eminem talks about uncertainty in Relapse, but taking a listen, you wouldn’t have believed a thing of it. - Gelo Gonzales